According to the British Retail Consortium, September retail sales were down 0.8% in the U.K. on a like-for-like basis, marking the seventh time in nine months this year that comparable sales were lower than the previous year's month.
British sporting goods retailer, Allsports Limited, is feeling the hurt from the sluggish sales, as the company cut over a thousand jobs after entering administration last month. As a result of entering administration, partners of the BDO Stoy Hayward accounting firm were appointed as administrators of Allsports and shortly thereafter began a business review. The administrators announced redundancies at both the company's Head Office in Bredbury, England and at shops around the country, necessitating the need to cut payroll. A total of 147 staff members were released at the Head Office and central warehouses in Greater Manchester, out of a total of approximately 300. In addition, 92 shops out of 264 were closed with staff at those shops also let go. Despite the layoffs and closures, the company still hopes to sell of its remaining business.
On the positive side of British retail, Extreme Shops Ltd. is expanding from their recently re-launched online presence, extremepie.com, and into the world of brick and mortar with a chain of 30 shops planned for roll out across the UK appealing to a broad customer base of 10-30 year olds, with the core around 16-25 year olds. Sites have been chosen based on their accessibility by youth, the feel of the location, and the type of shopping each center offers.
Currently, the company has 12 Legends store, which it bought during September of last year and will re-brand to carry the Ex Stores name, and plans to add 7 more stores before the end of the year. Two of those seven have already been opened, one in Brighton and one in Canterbury. Eventually, the company plans to build the chain up to 30-40 stores with product mix reflecting the local scene.